Clippers Teammate Explains Why Upcoming NBA Season will be Redemption for Kawhi Leonard

Published 12/07/2020, 8:00 AM EST
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 20: L.A. Clippers Forward Kawhi Leonard celebrates donation of One Million backpacks from Baby2Baby, Kawhi Leonard and the L.A. Clippers to students across Los Angeles at 107th Street Elementary on August 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Baby2Baby)


If there is any team desperately looking for redemption this season, it is the LA Clippers. The jokes about their playoff failures never seem to end. So Kawhi Leonard and Co will be aiming to keep those critics quiet with a better performance.

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Leonard’s newest teammate, Nicolas Batum, believes that this is going to be ‘revenge’ for the two-time Finals MVP. He said“What happened with Spurs in 2013, he came back and won MVP of Finals and the ring. What happened to him in 2018 with injuries, stuff like that in San Antonio, he came back in Toronto and won. Proved it twice so maybe again this year.”

In 2013, the Heat defeated the Spurs 4-3 to take home the title. Leonard, who was termed as the LeBron James stopper, kept him quiet in the first three games but got bulldozed in the last four games. But then he got his revenge the next year when the Spurs beat the Heat 4-1, and Leonard won the 2014 Finals MVP.

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In 2018, Leonard had a rift with the Spurs organization, which saw him being traded away to the Raptors. But he ended up leading the Raptors to their first-ever NBA title in 2019 and proved his worth.

Will Nic Batum’s prediction about Kawhi Leonard come true?

Similar to the 2013-14 Spurs and the 2018-19 Raptors, the Clippers are not the clear favorites going into the season. They are among the top five teams, but the Lakers remain the top pick to win the title. This will ease the pressure on Leonard and the Clippers after they were titled as the favorites last season.

The Clippers had blamed chemistry issues for the previous season. But now their core has remained the same, aside for Serge Ibaka replacing Montrezl Harrell. So now they have to step up.

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SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA – JULY 11: Kawhi Leonar speaks onstage during Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports 2019 at Barker Hangar on July 11, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/KCASports2019/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)

Leonard needs to be more of a leader on the team. He prefers leading by example, but he needs to be a bit more vocal too. He almost led them to the Conference Finals last season but failed to perform in the most important Game 7. So he is also looking for personal redemption.

The Clippers’ title hopes rest on Leonard, and his ability to perform exceptionally on both ends. So he has a lot of expectations to live up to.

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DIVE DEEPER

Raptors Insider Reveals How Kawhi Leonard Changed Serge Ibaka’s Personality On and Off the Court

6 months ago

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Aaron Mathew

1556 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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